What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

We mistakenly think that when we also clean disinfect. But, on the other hand, both processes involve very different results. We also consider that a place or object is clean, when we do not find visible dirt. But this hygiene is superficial since at first glance we can not detect the germs and bacteria that are around us.

Good cleaning and disinfection is essential to avoid infections and infections in any sector, and it is crucial in areas such as the food industry, health centers, schools and kindergartens, laboratories, kitchens or bathrooms.

The market offers a wide range of disinfectants to eliminate microorganisms such as: viruses, fungi, algae or bacteria. There are specific products for the food industry – with HA Registry -, for the health sector, for toilets, changing rooms, kindergartens, etc. Disinfectant products with different compounds such as: quaternary amonis, aldehydes, peroxides, hypochlorites, iodoforms …, which provide them with virucidal, fungicidal, bactericidal, etc. functions. In the face of such a variety it is important to be advised by hygiene professionals to choose the best product for each area or function safely.

Here are some simple recommendations to get the right disinfection in your business.

What is the difference between cleaning and disinfecting?

Cleaning involves removing germs and dirt from surfaces or objects. This process does not completely eliminate germs, decreases the amount and risk of spreading the disease.

Disinfecting involves eliminating harmful microorganisms and preventing its development. This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces, but destroying germs greatly reduces the risk of spreading disease or infections.

Why it is so important to clean and disinfect?

To prevent the spread of infections, diseases or infections.

Ensure that the service or product that we offer to the customer is of quality.

Generate trust in the client.

Prevent contamination in food products.

To comply with the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (APPCC or HACCP in English) that guarantees food safety.

Extend the service life of facilities, premises, utensils and equipment.

Improve the image of the company.

Achieve a healthy work environment.

Tips for proper disinfection:

Each sector, activity or business is subject to certain regulations. It is important that before using a disinfectant, we ensure that it meets the current regulations for its application. For example, disinfectants used in the food industry need a specific record (HA Registry) that authorizes their use for this type of facilities.

When applying a disinfectant it is essential to control the following variables to obtain an optimal result.

Contact time: the disinfectant and the surfaces or utensils must be in contact for a certain time to ensure the elimination of microorganisms.

Solution temperature: It must be uniform, a temperature range ranging from 20 ° C to 49 ° C is recommended.

Concentration of the solution: It varies according to the type of disinfectant, so the recommendation of the manufacturer or the professional adviser must be followed.

It is also important to assess the economic cost of the product and its effectiveness or potential dangers of application. There are products of low cost and high effectiveness, but nevertheless can be toxic, carcinogenic or mutagenic products. We always advise you on the advice of staff trained in the professional hygiene sector and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

We also have to keep in mind that without proper cleaning the disinfection process does NOT meet its objective. Hygiene is essential in order to control sources of contamination. For this reason, we recommend establishing a hygiene plan that specifies the disinfection process that must be applied to each place and object (the frequency, procedures, products used …) to control and ensure a good disinfection .